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Linda Jones - Your Precious Love (LP)

Linda Jones - Your Precious Love (LP)

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Genre: soul
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title:  Your Precious Love
Company: Turbo
Catalog: TU-7007
Year: 1972
Country/State: Newark, New Jersey
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: --
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6000
Price: $80.00

With Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff closing down their Neptune label, in 1970 Linda Jones signed with Sylvia Robinson's All Platinum Turbo. Teamed with long time producer George Kerr, along with Jerry Harris and Sylvia Robinson herself, Jones apparently recording quite a bit of material for the label including a non-LP debut single:

- 1971's 'Stay with Me Forever' b/w 'I've Given You The Best Years (Of My Life)' (Turbo catalog number TU 812 A/B)

Sadly, a longtime diabetic, following a March 1972 afternoon performance at New York's Apollo Theater Jones fell into a coma backstage, was rushed to a local hospital, but never revived. She was only 27 year old. In standard marketing fashion, clearly hoping to capitalize on the resulting publicity surrounding Jones' death, Turbo wasted little time digging out the previously recorded material, releasing some of it as 1972's "For Your Precious Love". If you were a fan of the debut album, the sophomore album was probably going to take awhile to warm up to. Her voice remained instantly recognizable, but this time around she simply confused the notions of power with loud, shrill, and almost hysterically over-sung performances. Think those were simply snarky comments ? Well I suggest you check out her performances on 'Your Precious Love' and 'Stay with Me Forever'. Imagine a Gospel group at their most over-the-top and pretentious. In her defense, as previously mentioned, Jones was already seriously ill when these tracks were recorded and judging by the Enoch Gregory's fawning and somewhat nauseous liner notes, she probably did not have a great deal of say in the actual recording sessions; certainly not the posthumous production work prior to the album's posthumous release. Wonder who had the brilliant idea to add the star to Jones' forehead ....

- Some folks will go gaga over her hyper-emotive cover of Jerry Butler's 'Your Precious Love', but I've got to tell you the combination of her extended hyper-speed spoken word vamps (imagine Millie Jackson at her preachy worst), and a brittle, shrieking delivery left me pretty cold to the performance. Shame since it's actually a classic soul tune. rating: ** stars
- Giving credit where due, her performance on the ballad 'Don't Go (I Can't Bear To Be Alone)' was still pretty out there, especially when she tried to light the vocal afterburners and came off very shrill, but at least the tune was semi-memorable (if grossly over-orchestrated). rating: *** stars
- With a great melody, 'Behold' was the one track that harkened back to her earlier catalog. While Jones' performance remained fragile and shrill, you could see she'd made attempt to lessen the throttle and at least you could detect shades of her looser, more easy-going prior work. Shame that she didn't ease up and go with a calmer approach. rating: **** stars
- A big, over-the-top soul ballad, the first couple of times I heard it, 'Stay with Me Forever' did absolutely nothing for me. The delivery on this one was so hyper and over-the-top that it was almost be funny. It's actually grown on me over the years and I've always liked the strange skittish guitar pattern that kicked the song along. rating: ** stars
- Starting out with another vamp, 'Not On the Outside' was a perfect example of Jones ability/habit of stretching her vocals across multiple notes. It's a style that's become very fashionable (think Mariah Carey) and technically it's quite impressive, but to my ears the effect was nothing short of irritating. Shrill and preachy, this one showcased Jones at her worst. rating: ** stars
- The performance wasn't anything special, but just because it was up beat and relative carefree, her cover of 'Dancing In the Street' was a breath of fresh of air. Wonder why it faded out so unexpectedly ...   rating: *** stars
- Opening up with a stark arrangement (simply Jones and a piano), 'Let It Be Me' was actually a guilty pleasure. Everything I complained about in terms of her performances was on display here, but the song was strong enough to withstand Jones aural pummeling and some escape undamaged.   rating: *** stars
- Probably my pick for standout performance, 'I Can't Make It Alone' had a couple of things going for it, including the album's most memorable melody, some tasty guitar, and a Jones performance than was sharp, but not nearly as shrill as some of the other performances. rating: **** stars
- Opening with another irritating spoken work vamp, 'Doggin' Me Around' found Jones turning in a blues-oriented number. While the song was kind of interesting, she did her best to sabotage it with her patented over-singing.  rating: ** stars

The album was also tapped for a series of posthumous singles:

- 'Your Precious Love' b/w 'Don't Go' (Turbo catalog number TU 021-A/B)
- 'Not On the Outside' b/w 'Things I've Been Through' (Turbo catalog number TU 024-A/B)
- 'Let It Be Me' b/w 'Don't Go (I Can't Bear To Be Alone)' (Turbo catalog number TU 028-A/B)

Nowhere near as enjoyable as the debut set, though it'll appeal to some hardcore soul fans out there.

"Your Precious Love" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Your Precious Love (Jerry Butler - Arthur Brooks - Richard Brooks)
2.) Don't Go (I Can't Bear To Be Alone) (Al Goodman - S.Seager)
3.) Behold
4.) Stay with Me Forever

(side 2)
1.) Not On the Outside (Sylvia Robinson - L.Roberts) 
2.) Dancing In the Street (Marvin Gaye - William "Mickey" Stevenson - Ivy Jo Hunter)
3.) Let It Be Me (Gilbert Becaud - Mann Curtis)
4.) I Can't Make It Alone
5.) Doggin' Me Around
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